The journey back home has continued for Nigerians stranded in Libya whose hopes of getting to Europe had turned a nightmare they now wish will go away.

No returnee has shared pleasurable stories and the revelation that many have become slaves in another man's land in this modern age has also made their return home a happy one.

No fewer than 144 of them voluntarily returned home on Tuesday, this time by air and not land, in flights sponsored by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU).

One thing that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the government would do to discourage Nigerians from embarking on the perilous journey in search of greener pastures in Europe would be to keep the tempo of awareness high.

Happy To Be Home

One of the returnees, Mr Godsent Jatto, from Edo State, told the News Agency of Nigeria that he had a harrowing experience in Libya after being sold into slavery by fellow Nigerians.

He said, “I am so happy coming back to Nigeria. I will never dream in my life to pass through Kano to Libya again”.

Jatto said it was sad that some Nigerians also lured their fellow brothers to Libya only to get them into human trafficking.

He said some were sold to the Arabs who will now start calling the Nigerians’ families in the village demanding for money for them to be released.


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According to him, traffickers usually lie to people back in Nigeria that their relatives have crossed to Europe whereas some of them have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.

“My advice to Nigerians that still want to embark on this journey is that they should not try it. Keep doing anything you are doing here because your country is your country,” he said.

Misadventure

Another returnee, Ms Caroline Ishola, an aspiring actress from Ekiti State, described her journey to Libya as a misadventure.

Ishola said: “My experience was bad. It is a very dangerous country. I was an actress before embarking on this journey and I paid the person who took me N400, 000 at first and paid more when I got to Libya.

“I was sold in Libya but thank God it was not into a connection house and at the end of the day the place was raided by the Police and we were arrested and that was how I got back.”

The fresh returnees came back days after a batch of 150 Nigerians voluntarily returned on Nov. 30 from the volatile North African country where they had been stranded enroute Europe.

Before then, many had also been assisted back home in batches.

As at the time of filing this report, another batch of Nigerians was being expected from Libya as their aircraft was said to be on the way from Tripoli.

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